Court in Brest turns down lawsuit by independent journalist to protect honor and dignity

2013 2013-03-20T14:20:41+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/milana-harytonava1.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Milana Kharytonava, press photographer of the Brestskiy Kurier independent newspaper.

Milana Kharytonava, press photographer of the Brestskiy Kurier independent newspaper.

The court of Maskouski District of Brest announced today its judgment in the case of independent journalist Milana Kharytonava, who filed a lawsuit against reporter Uladzimir Minevich of the state newspaper “Brestskiy Vestnik”.

The lawsuit was lodged after one of the city’s web resources published offensive messages against Milana Kharytonava some one year ago. After the independent journalist submitted a statement to local law enforcement authorities, it found out that the author of the publication was a correspondent for the newspaper founded by Brest city executive committee. Then Mrs. Kharytonava sent a statement to the court against the representative of the state newspapers in order to protect her honor, dignity and business reputation and to demand damages in the amount of 3 million rubles.

A linguistic expertise of text was later held. However, as Milana Kharytonava stressed,the examination was not carried out by an independent expert with experience and license, but delegated to a representative of Philology Department of Brest State University, where Uladzimir Minevich had studied. According to the conclusions of the examination, there was no offense in the publication by the correspondent of “Brestskiy Vestnik”: it argued that, though he expressed a negative opinion, but took advantage of his constitutional rights.

Based on these findings, Judge Tatsiana Isayeva dismissed Mrs. Kharytonava’s lawsuit and ordered to pay the cost of the examination of 1.5 million rubles. The independent journalist said she did not agree with the decision and would appeal it at the Regional Court.

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